ILO Partnership

ILO and the Government of Norway sign a new partnership agreement on skills development and lifelong learning for the Future of Work

Press release | 15 December 2020
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have signed a strategic partnership agreement for 2021-2022 ,to skill, reskill and upskill people of all ages to overcome the challenge to access decent jobs and increase their opportunities to meet the skills requirements of the labour market. Skills development has an important role to play in the immediate effort to lessen the impact of COVID-19 while the pandemic is active as well as in building the resilience of workers and firms, and in preparing for recovery.

The newly signed agreement will contribute to rolling out the ILO Global Programme on Skills and Lifelong Learning (GPSL3 ). The GPSL3 aims to provide coordinated and enhanced support to ILO constituents to develop and implement new generation skills and lifelong learning ecosystems, which recognize that education, training, and lifelong learning are fundamental for a decent future of work. The GPSL3 supports and assists ILO Constituents in 34 target countries in the ILO’s five regions of operations with a focus on:
  • fostering innovation;
  • facilitating the digital transition;
  • managing knowledge and communication, and
  • empowering constituents to take a lead role in providing technical guidance.
The regional component of the Programme will focus on addressing forced labour and modern slavery as well as the promotion of skills partnerships on migration, with an emphasis on migrant workers. At country level, the programme’s interventions will focus on responding to the aspirations, gaps, challenges, objectives, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic identified by national stakeholders.

The agreement is a new phase of a long-standing partnership between the ILO and the Government of Norway, which has focused on skills development since 2016, with the signature of the Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA) 2016-17 and PCA 2018-20.

In particular, the new agreement builds on the results of PCA 2018-20, under which the ILO and the Norwegian government implemented the SKILL-UP Programme to help ILO member States enhance their skills systems and take advantage of new opportunities offered by emerging global drivers of change. The Programme had a global component that focused on generating innovative knowledge and practical tools and contributed to strengthening partnerships, capacity development and advocacy. Moreover, it supported skills systems in seven countries - Ethiopia, Ghana, Lebanon, Malawi, Niger, Senegal and Tanzania.

Over the past two years, the SKILL-UP Programme has skilled, upskilled, and reskilled over 4,000 people and total of 362,075 people have benefited from its activities.

Learn more about the impact of the SKILL-UP Programme over the past two years overview of the impact of the SKILL-UP Programme over the past two years.

Additionally, the Programme supported dialogue between countries of origin and destination in two Sub-Saharan African regions to forge skills partnerships that make migration more demand-led and facilitate the access of migrants to information.

As a follow-up phase, the ILO GPSL3 will benefit from the high level of tripartite ownership and implementation structures already in place in six countries in Africa and in Lebanon, as well as at regional and global levels.